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From the Archive: 7 February 1962 (NSFW Warning)

February 4, 2022

Nigel Atherton looks back at past AP issues in our archive, this week we explore the 7 February 1962 issue.


We take a dive into our archive to see what was happening this week in Amateur Photographer’s history. We’ve selected the 7 February 1962 issue. Warning: This page is likely to be unsuitable for viewing at work.

Amateur Photographer 7 February 1962 Cover

Amateur Photographer 7 February 1962 Cover

Judging from the AP archive three of the biggest obsessions of amateur photographers back in the sixties were children, animals, and ladies taking their clothes off, and this issue from 60 years ago ticked every box. The challenge, as always, was trying to come up with new and original ways to illustrate these same topics and sometimes this meant thinking outside the box.

Rayment Kirby’s surreal trick photography in 1962 issue of ap

Rayment Kirby’s surreal trick photography involved a nude model and some matches

Or the matchbox, in the case of Rayment Kirby’s 5-page lead feature this week, in which a nude model cavorts with a bunch of giant matchsticks in a series of surreal pictures. Or perhaps the matchsticks are normal size and it’s a very tiny woman? Who knows! It’s unclear whether any drugs were consumed in the making of this feature (well, it was the sixties) but the results were certainly eye-catching.

matchbox pictures

He cut up transparencies and put them in matchboxes for the picture on the left

Kirby shot the nude studies of the uncredited model on 6×6 transparency film, and then backlit and rephotographed the film frames with the matchsticks suspended above them on a sheet of glass. But in one image the model is actually holding one of the matchsticks – how did Rayment do that? Ah, glad you asked. He had the model pose with a couple of full-size lengths of timber, so they would look like matchsticks in the finished comp.

minolta ad from ap archive

Now that import restrictions have ended, readers can buy any camera they choose

Clever, eh? For one of the other images he inserted cut-up pieces of transparencies into partially opened matchboxes and re-photographed them on a lightbox. All the while he was probably wishing someone would hurry up and invent Photoshop. Note: In today’s more health-and-safety-conscious times it’s probably worth stating that we don’t recommend handling sawn timber in the nude.

ad for the Agfa Optima from ap archive

An ad for the Agfa Optima: models from £32/8/7 (£740) to £72/2/2 (£1,645)

Yashica advertisement for Campus, M2 and Rapide AP Archive

Yashica advertisement for Campus, M2 and Rapide


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